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Democratic poll shows tight contest in Washington House race

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A new Democratic poll shows a neck and neck contest in a top House race in Washington state between Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) and Democrat Carolyn Long.

The survey from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), obtained exclusively by The Hill, shows Herrera Beutler with 49 percent support among likely voters, compared with 47 percent for Long, a political science professor. The difference falls within the poll’s margin of error, and another 5 percent of respondents remain undecided.

Democrats are hopeful they can capture the 3rd Congressional District, located in southwest Washington, after Herrera Beutler’s margin of victory declined significantly in her most recent reelection. After winning her 2016 race by about 24 points, she won in 2018 against Long by less than 6 points. 

The district, which is located near Portland, Ore., is just one of many suburban seats that Democrats are contesting this year as polls show voters in such areas abandoning the GOP, though the area also includes rural expanses.

Democrats have looked to tie Herrera Beutler to President Trump in advertisements and have highlighted past comments from her criticizing the president, with the DCCC spending $1 million on TV ads in the district. Republicans have also begun spending in the district to prop up the five-term incumbent.

“The race for Washington’s 3rd continues to narrow. In a Trump-won district, Herrera Beutler has shown that she’s chosen Trump and her party politics in D.C. over delivering for Southwest Washington,” said a Democratic strategist familiar with the race. 

Herrera Beutler’s campaign dismissed the poll, projecting confidence she’d win a sixth term. 

“This is the time of year when desperate campaigns try to convince reporters to write about outlying polls from outlying pollsters with outlying results. Jaime is going to win,” the campaign said.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as “lean Republican.”

The poll also shows voters in the district are split in the presidential race, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by a 45-43 percent margin, with 12 percent saying they’re undecided. Trump won the district by 7 points in 2016. 

The DCCC poll surveyed 425 likely voters from Oct. 19-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Tags 2020 2020 election 2020 House races 2020 polls carolyn long Donald Trump Jaime Herrera Beutler Joe Biden

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